Institution chiefs' pay rise

February 6, 1998

This is the fourth THES top people's pay survey and the third year in which institutions were required

THE Average pay rise for heads of United Kingdom higher education institutions was 5.8 per cent in 1996-97 - twice that of their academic staff.

Eighteen vice-chancellors received pay rises of 10 per cent or more, with a handful seeing their salaries soar by more than 20 per cent.

The fourth THES survey of top people's pay shows 70 earned more than Pounds 100,000 in 1996-97, including 59 of the 106 members of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals.

The previous year 61 heads of institutions - 46 being CVCP members - were earning in six figures, compared to 44 overall and 29 CVCP members in 1994-95.

Median pay for members of the CVCP rose from Pounds 92,000 in 1994-95 to Pounds 97,000 in 1995-96 and Pounds 104,000 in 1996-97.

Sir Derek Roberts, provost of University College London, was the highest earning CVCP member, on Pounds 144,709. Close behind was Sir Kenneth Green, who retired last year from Manchester Metropolitan University on a salary of Pounds 141,000, while at the bottom of the list were Lampeter vice-chancellor Keith Robbins on Pounds 71,000 and Aberystwyth vice-chancellor Derec Llwyd Morgan on Pounds 75,000.

The highest pay increase went to Surrey's vice-chancellor, Patrick Dowling, who saw his salary rise from Pounds 91,000 to Pounds 116,000 - a leap of per cent.

Other big jumps in salary went to the principal of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, Sir Tim Lankester (25 per cent), Aberdeen University principal C. Duncan Rice (22 per cent) and Westminster vice-chancellor Geoffrey Copland (21.4 per cent).

Professor Rice also received Pounds 47,000 relocation expenses from the United States, where he was vice-chancellor of New York University, pushing his total package up to Pounds 173,000, including pension.

Tom Wilson, assistant general secretary of the Association of University Teachers, said: "We are outraged at increases which are so flagrantly ahead of increases ordinary staff have received over the last two years."

Lecturers last year received pay rises of just 2.9 per cent.

He said vice-chancellors' pay was determined by local remuneration committees which took account of factors very similar to those considered by a pay review body.

"What's good enough for them should be good enough for their staff," he said.

Topping the survey list was George Bain, then head of the London Business School, who took home a package worth more than Pounds 150,000. He has since moved to Queen's, Belfast, accepting a Pounds 45,000 pay cut. He is also chairman of the Low Pay Commission.

"Taking a job for the money - unless you are rather lowly paid and have to take it - is not my style," he said. "But if I get a job I want the going rate.

"As far as heading up a business school or medical school, pay should bear some relationship to what you are worth in the market and what your colleagues earn."

Six of his colleagues at the business school earned more than Pounds 150,000 in 1996-97. One earned more than Pounds 200,000. Medical school heads also did well, with the dean of the Royal Free Hospital and principal of St George's Medical School both in the top five.

Like some of their staff, many of whom also earned well above Pounds 50,000, their salaries also include awards from the National Health Service. A CVCP spokesman said: "What v-cs earn is entirely up to their own governing bodies. These sort of levels of pay are generally in line with what you would expect a chief executive to receive for running something in the private sector."

* The THES top people's pay survey is not available on this database.

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